Furry Writers' Guild Forum

On pen names

I thought it was worth sharing this article, from the point of view of a writer of erotica, since many furry writers have similar reasons for going by a pen name:


Interesting. It’s more about creating a writing persona, but there are some interesting points.

I use a pen name, for many reasons ranging from the fact that I’m not writing in my native language, to the fear that the first thing that I become “renowned” for will become the only thing I’d be able to sell. I’ve never thought about creating a different persona for that though. To me, I’m still the one behind everything I write,and it’s not like I try to hide it that much.

I didn’t make it past the first sentence. I can’t take someone seriously as a writer if they write sentences like that.


twitches I have to agree with Sassy on that one. Did they even bother with an edit before sending the article in?

On a personal note, my original names looks like it’ll be turning into my pen name. Spirit’s last name is incredibly unique- as far as he can find, only two separate family lines exist within the states with his last name. As comfortable as I am being a furry, I’m not too fond with the idea of giving companies that much more reason to lay me off >.> My maiden name is incredibly common though, and if you try to Google me, you get pages upon pages upon pages of a variety of folks before you ever find a picture of me X3

So I see no reason to change the name under which I write :stuck_out_tongue:

Yea, I couldn’t get through that article.

On the pen name thing though, I honestly could not stand the thought of my actual name on a book. It was too general, and I’ve never really liked it. I took on Weasel due to my username and it just stuck with me ever since. Though I’d say it’s more a stage name now than anything. It’s fun when you’re about to take the stage and the host has to double check his listing before he can announce you. I don’t generally write erotica, so I’m not sure if I’d change it if I ever did.

As I mention occasionally, it’s way too late for me to worry about having a pen name for furry stuff. I got into this sufficiently long ago that people just didn’t worry about that – if you look through issues of FurVersion and YARF!, contributors with (obvious) pen names were the exception, not the rule. Maintaining a strong separation between “real name” and “furry name” didn’t really become the norm until the early-to-mid 2000s, I’d say. (I suspect there’s a few reasons as to why, but that may be something more in JM’s ballpark than mine.)

For me the dividing line between “publish this under a pen name” and “publish this under my real name” boils down to “is this something I am comfortable explaining if it comes up in a conversation with a non-furry.” For an awful lot of my work, including Indigo Rain, the stories in Why Coyotes Howl and Kismet, the answer remains yes, even if I brace myself for the possibility of having to explain that no, I don’t have much interest in donning a coyote costume for wild parties.

I have been using the same name online and in the fandom for close to, if not, fifteen years. In many ways, it became more than just a “pen” name or online handle. My partner feels the same way about his. So when I submit to a furry anthology, I am always questioning whether I want “my” name on it, or a new name to publish under. I went so far as to create a new “persona” that has replaced me public Twitter account and I imagine I may publish under the name if/when my writing turns away from erotica. I am also a highly compartmentalized person. So in legal terms, I suppose I only really write under a pen name, but I personally do not see it that way. I see it as a just a name I am known by other than my legal name.

I always saw that as one of the fandom’s best features. We throw the best parties, we should not have to explain the appeal of that. ;D

I had the same online name, Nitetigrezz, for over a decade, and there are still those who refuse to know me by any other. However, it was while I had the name that I had known the least about myself, after having lost my self identity and worth. I still hold the name in honor of how it carried me through while I was finding myself (not to mention that it’s rare for it to be used on other sites), but now that I’ve found the Munchkin inside of me, it’s what I prefer.

As you all know (maybe), I use my real name with my fur name in quotations in the middle in the fandom.
Outside of the fandom, I just use my name.
On Goodreads, it’s all under Tarl “Voice” Hoch.

I DO have a secret one, but that’s only for really taboo stuff. (of which there is none of)

Is it wrong that I like using Ocean because I’d prefer to be called Ocean?

X3 I don’t see why not! I tend toward Voice’s approach because Munchkin IS me, and besides that, there are a TON of folks who go by the nickname. But I certainly wouldn’t mind being called Munchkin all the time :3

If I was starting over, I’d pick a Firstname Lastname fursona so it would look less weird in a publishing context, and cross over to non-furry markets more easily (at least, to markets like erotica and sci-fi, which are full of weird names).

And that Firstname Lastname would be ‘Husky Galore’ ^.^

I guess I was lucky in the fact that my parents gave me a name that just sounds like a writer’s name - two middle initials is amazing. That’s the only pen name I could ever need.

Much the same reason I just use Mars, though I add the Queen surname for my porn erotica to have at least a bit of differential between the two. :stuck_out_tongue:

Queen Mars? Considering what Mars is supposed to stand for, that’s pretty damn brilliant :smiley:

It’s actually “Mars Queen” for my porn-penname but that’s the idea. X3

My fursona name/pen name is easily correlated with my real name. For that reason I don’t use it on anything much above a PG-13 rathing. I have a different pen name I use for erotica and more adult works. In recent years I’ve become more relaxed about disclosing that both identities are me, but I still only do so in person or in private communications; I’m still not comfortable having it appear online where anyone digging for information on me could connect the two.

I use ‘Televassi’ for a number of reasons. One, that I don’t feel comfortable with plastering my real name over the internet. Two, that it feels that in order to not have the locals stare at you, you need to have a handle for the fandom. It just seems to be convention. Three, however, is more personal. I have terrible self-confidence issues, and I actually would be terrified of someone I knew in real life reading my writing. So, a pen name allows me to mitigate both, for it feels less personal to put something out under a false name. Four is quite simple - if people see Televassi, they know, or at least will remember/recognise the name. It helps you stand out from the crowd.

Is that… is that a James Bond reference?

Anyway, with myself, I have the oddity of never having intended for this to be a name I published under. It started off as just a new name for an account, then I started writing stories under the name, then I started publishing stories under the name, then I became known as an editor under the name… It just snowballed in what I was popularly known as, so I stuck with it.

Well, I didn’t say I wouldn’t go to the parties. :slight_smile:

It’s sort of interesting on reflection that I don’t know many furries who use the term pen name when they’re writing under a furry name. I’ve written stories credited to a distinct second fursona, but I think of them as…well, a distinct second fursona. (And I don’t actually write under my primary fursona of Chipotle, even though a fair number of people in furrydom know me by that name.)